Missiles for Mother Church
Upon the issuance last week of an expansive and aggressive new encyclical by the Holy See in Rome, it appears that the Mother Church has completed its turn towards a far more belligerent stance within our global village.
Here we see the perfect embodiment of that newly firm demeanor, in the form of the modern ICBM — or InterContinental Bishop’s Mantle — comprised of gleaming blood-red carbon-fiber alloy and Egyptian cotton, with cream velvet trim, gilt accents and pearl beading. (From a convocation in Vatican City, a wave of Missiles for Mother Church could easily and quickly reach targets as disparate as Odessa, Cadiz, Baghdad and the Sudan.) Another nice liturgical touch: when launched, the Missiles emit expansive clouds of incense.
As has occurred in recent decades within the fundamentalist (and often extremist) factions of other faiths, we are now seeing a resurgence of the limited tolerance and excessively epistolary and conversionary attitudes that spawned the Crusades — and, at their worst — led to the horrors of Spain’s Inquisition.
Of course, the Church hopes to sufficiently soften this militaristic mien with smiling faces, clasped hands, sonorous chanting, and an effusion of brotherly love and compassion. It is fervently hoped by religious leaders that such a blatant ‘carrot-and-stick’ approach will build on those perennial congregation-pleasers of ‘heaven-and-hell’ and ‘sainthood-and-Sodom’.
Whatever the long-term benefits of Rome’s latest plans, in the short term they are sure to shift our collective attention away from church closings, financial irregularities, and far too many suspect single men overseeing far too many youth groups.
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